Victor Ventuzelo, 32, of Islip Terrace, is led out of...

Victor Ventuzelo, 32, of Islip Terrace, is led out of the Third Precinct in Bay Shore. (Feb. 7, 2011) Credit: James Carbone

A father of four walking on a Central Islip road to avoid an icy sidewalk was struck and killed by a drunken driver leaving a Super Bowl party with his 9-year-old son, Suffolk police said Monday.

Laurance Grube, 40, of Mastic, was pronounced dead at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore after he and a friend were struck by a pickup truck driven by Victor Ventuzelo while they walked on Lowell Avenue at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday night, police said.

Ventuzelo, 32, of Islip Terrace, was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated, aggravated driving while intoxicated with a passenger younger than 16 years old, leaving the scene of an accident, and endangering the welfare of a child. Under Leandra's Law, passed in November 2009, the endangerment charge is a felony.

After the collision, Ventuzelo drove home and spoke with family members and a neighbor, whom he told "that he might have hit someone on Lowell Avenue," according to Det. Sgt. William Rand of the Third Squad.

Relatives persuaded him to drive with them back to Lowell Avenue in another vehicle about an hour later, where Third Precinct officers were still at the scene, Rand said. Ventuzelo exhibited signs of intoxication and submitted to a blood test. The results of that test and the crime scene reconstruction are pending, weeks away.

Warren Connolly, 44, of Central Islip, was struck as he walked with Grube. He was hospitalized with nonlife-threatening injuries, police said.

Relatives of Ventuzelo, of 66 Rockaway St., would not comment and referred all questions to Hauppauge attorney Anthony M. La Pinta. A call to La Pinta was not returned Monday night.

Grube was a father of four and one of nine siblings, said his brother-in-law, Thomas Greco, 50, of Mastic. He described Grube as a "blue collar" construction and odd-job worker who had recently struggled to find full-time employment.

His four children, between the ages of 17 and 2, had been told of his death, and some of his siblings were traveling to Long Island Monday from out of state after being notified of his death, Greco said.

"We're all trying to console each other," he said.

A woman who would identify herself only as Idalia, 38, answered the door at Connolly's residence Monday and said he'd just moved into her house three months ago and was renting a room. She identified Grube as her tenant's friend.

A message left at Ventuzelo's company, Vento Construction, was not returned Monday. He has a prior conviction in Suffolk from 2009 for driving while impaired, police said. The suspect was held Monday on $150,000 cash or $250,000 bond, officials said.

Detectives ask anyone with information about the incident to call the Third Squad, 631-854-8352, or Crime Stoppers, 800-220-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.

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